First storm of 2021 arrives in Nova Scotia

·2 min read

The first major storm of the year arrived in southwest Nova Scotia early Saturday morning, as the province braced for heavy snow.

Most counties were under a snowfall warning for much of the morning and afternoon, according to Environment Canada, with total amounts of 25-30 centimetres expected in some places.

By 3:30 p.m., snowfall warnings had been lifted in Halifax Metro and Halifax County west. They remain in effect for most of northern and eastern Nova Scotia.

The snow will mix with rain along the Atlantic coastline, so there will likely be a big difference in snowfall amounts for inland and coastal areas in the Halifax region, according to CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon.

By 8 a.m., radar showed the storm tracking over the southern tip of the province from Digby to Lunenburg. Flakes had also begun falling in Halifax by 8:30 a.m.

Snow will spread to the rest of the province by afternoon. The system will likely last into the early hours of Sunday.

Ryan Snoddon/CBC
Ryan Snoddon/CBC

Most of the province can expect 15-25 centimetres, but 30 or more is possible over northern and eastern areas of the province.

The warning also says strong east-to-northeast winds gusting to 60-80 km/h may significantly reduce visibility in blowing snow.

Snoddon said the high winds combined with wet and sticky snow could lead to localized power outages.

About 500 Nova Scotia Power customers in the Duncans Cove area were affected by an outage around 4:15 p.m. Power was restored by 6:30 p.m.

Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult, and road closures are possible. Some highways in the province are partly covered or covered in snow.

Highway conditions can be found on 511's website.

RCMP are asking people to stay off the roads unless necessary, as driving conditions continue to deteriorate across the province.

Cpl. Lisa Croteau, public information officer with Nova Scotia RCMP, said there have been some accidents reported, but did not have information on any "major collisions."

Some Halifax Transit routes are on snow plan due to weather conditions. Buses will be rerouted to avoid hills and other tricky areas.

The overnight winter parking ban will also be enforced in the Halifax Regional Municipality between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Sunday. Vehicles must be off municipal streets to allow for street and sidewalk cleaning.

Shubenacadie Wildlife Park in Colchester County closed to the public at noon on Saturday due to poor weather conditions, with Sunday's hours still to be determined, according to Shubenacadie Sam's Twitter account.

Some businesses in parts of Cape Breton will close early on Saturday evening because of the storm. Check your local stores for operating hours.

Ferry Service to Tancook Island has been suspended due to weather conditions.